Make Money Blogging

Six Figure Income Blogging Tips

I purchased the ProBlogger book by Darren Rowse 1 a few years back when I was visiting his site more often. He’s got some good stuff, but I like his story even better. A guy reads an article about blogging, starts his own, and the rest his history. Those are the kinds of stories that make us all believe we can succeed. At the same time, a story like that also makes you wonder how two people (one being Darren, one being me/you) starting at the same ground zero point in blogging can end up in such polar opposite places.

Ok, enough encouragement for one post. Back to the book. It’s a pretty good read. Most of it was helpful, but there were a couple of chapters that didn’t do much for me. Having already set up countless blogs at this point in my life, the chapter on setting up a blog was thirty pages I didn’t need. I was also hoping for him to delve a bit more into the promotion and marketing which was comparably light for how expansive this topic can be.

Don’t get me wrong. I did enjoy the read. I just felt like a portion of the book was filled with the same things that can be found by doing a simple Google search for each topic, though I guess that’s any self help type book these days, right? I don’t know Darren personally, but for some reason critiquing his book feels a bit treasonous. The guy has made his blogs an incredible success, and here I am, some Joe Blow making twelve cents a month from my blog portfolio, taking a shot at him.

I hope it doesn’t come off that way. Just being honest, that’s all. I still find it easy to link jump from post to post on his site for hours at a time. He’s got a ton of great content over at his ProBlogger website, and I would urge any blogger, new or experienced, wanting to pick up a few nuggets to spend some time there. I guarantee you will leave with something incredibly useful to add to your blogging repertoire or your money back.

The book has run its course in my hands, so if anyone wants a copy of a 1st Edition ProBlogger – Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income for free, let me know in the comments section. All you need to do is pay shipping. I’ll wave my expensive handling fee. 😉 First comment, first offered. Make sure you leave a correct email address so I can follow up with you for your mailing address.

  1. Amazon affiliate link

Alexa Rank and Blog Money

[ad name=”200x200all”]

Your Alexa rank isn’t really an ideal traffic metric to use if you’re looking for pinpoint accuracy, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a useful motivator. I log into most of my sites daily so I’m always checking my browsers Alexa ranking plugin for each of my websites. Sure, my recorded visits probably skew the results slightly, but not too much. I have sites with Alexa rankings in the millions that I visit daily and others with much better/lower numbers too, so it’s all relative if you ask me.

I use it as an incentive to keep myself posting regularly. Something about watching that number creep down over and over makes me want to keep at it. While it might not be the best ranking method, I believe it does have some worth. Have you ever noticed the popular make money bloggers claiming to be making a living usually rank somewhere between (roughly) 5,000 and 20,000 in Alexa? I’m sure that range doesn’t guarantee you a dime, especially if you’re banking on the randomness of ad clicks or affiliate sales, but there must be a very broad correlation between attaining a certain Alexa score and earning some decent revenue.

I started searching for blog sites (regardless of site topic) that share income data or publish monthly revenue reports to see if there was any link to an Alexa range and making decent revenue. I realize there are so many different variables that could warp such a fun study, but I wanted to find that coveted Alexa range linked to ample income. Is there an Alexa number that more often than not equals a decent chunk of change each month? Sure, this is all contemplative speculation based on rather flimsy traffic data to begin with, but I’m still interested to see the results.

I realize that some of these folks have their hands in a bit of everything including membership only sections, training programs, their own products (such as books, e-books, and phone apps, etc.), affiliate sales, ppc and cpm ads, direct ad sales, multiple sites, ebay or domain sales, paid reviews, and more. These income results will include everything, even if in some cases the revenue totals are for multiple sites. It’s also worth noting that on some sites I could only find older monthly revenue details, but the Alexa rank I recorded was for the date of this post.

So there you have it. Twenty random blogs with a recent monthly income report. I didn’t realize how vast the Alexa range would be in this list, but it really shows that it’s less about attaining a certain amount of traffic (or Alexa traffic if you will) and more about what you do with it. As I write this, I’m realizing I’ve been obsessing over the wrong number. Sure, an Alexa rank is fun to watch, but it means next to nothing. I should be watching my income by experimenting with new revenue streams while continually testing what I use currently.

Most of these sites break down their revenue so you can see where it’s coming from and what is strongest for each individual niche. It’s also important to realize you have to take a pro-active approach to attaining higher revenue instead of just waiting for it. If all you use is Adsense, you’ll likely never experience the kind of income a lot of these sites earn, but a more balanced attack with a combination of streams appears to work wonders for these people.

For example, take a look at Pat Flynn’s last income report over at his Smart Passive Income site. He has over two dozen affiliate products he earns from alone. Now go check out that list and search his site for where and how he uses/mentions these products. I just did the same thing and left his site realizing I haven’t been working nearly as smart as I could have been. Did you catch that each one is linked in his monthly revenue reports too?

Ok, so there’s no real magic Alexa number, but I will say once you get your score down into these familiar ranges (similar to these sites), then it’s up to you what you do with that traffic. Study the people on this list closest to your number or niche and figure out what they’re doing right (or what you’re doing wrong). There’s really no reason you can’t be achieving similar results if you’re in the same traffic ballpark as these other sites.

I know I have my work cut out for me. Seriously. It’s a good thing I enjoy writing because I am an extremely underachieving blogger if we’re talking dollars and cents. From just a quick comparison, other sites in the general neighborhood of my Alexa rank are making hundreds of dollars each month, so I am clearly doing just about everything wrong thus far. And then there’s the couple running the website which isn’t far off from my Alexa rank, yet they earn so much that they have to carry their monthly gains to the bank in a wheelbarrow. Good for them, although I’m not sure if the amount they’re earning is motivating or discouraging at this point. 😉

Oh, and I almost forgot one last website to include.

Starting a Blog is Easy

It’s true. Starting a blog is quite easy, but maintaining a blog long term is what separates those who talk about success and those who attain it. I really enjoy sitting in front of the computer trying new software because I’m an idea guy. I like to take a new piece of software and think up what I could grow it into, or how I could use it for things it wasn’t intended for. I’ve spent marathon sessions in front of the computer setting up different sites because for the most part, it’s fun and it’s easy.

[ad name=”Small Square”]

The tough part is not spreading yourself too thin so you can update these sites regularly which is my Achilles heel. I like setting them up much more than I like updating them. Unfortunately, consistency is what counts. I’m sure we could come up with hundreds of analogies like the tortoise and the hare, or the power of compound interest, but whatever parallel you use, it’s all true. If you want to be successful, it’s not always going to be fun, even if your site is about something you truly enjoy.

This post stems from a simple theme change after only a hundred or so days with a different theme. I have spent the greater part of the last week updating each individual post by replacing an image with an ad, filling in seo friendly titles, keywords, and descriptions for each post that I’ve carefully researched using the Google Adwords Keyword Tool, tweaking image sizes, and slowly customizing each aspect of this new theme to be how I want it. I’ve learned an important tip from all of this work. Make sure you do it right the first time because you don’t want to have to update thousands of individual posts a year or two down the road.

When you put in the kind of hours I just did while also realizing you’re on a journey with an unknown future, it can fill you will a little bit of self doubt. I find myself wondering if I’ll be one of the few who can create a sustainable living from blogging. It’s not that I doubt my long term resolve, but I do notice a big difference between myself and those make money bloggers. I don’t know how to do what they do and I don’t pretend to know. They seldom talk about how they learned or what failures it took to figure it all out, but instead they simply tell us what to do to succeed.

I’m not second guessing their advice because they’ve attained such coveted financial success from blogging. I just realize that I’m not there yet. I’m not showing people how to make money, but instead I’m letting people watch me try along the way. It will be interesting to see where this leads to in a couple years time. I’ll either be financially independent and a believer that anyone can be taught the trade of profitable blogging by following in the footsteps of giants, or I will have learned a painful lesson that there’s something special in the DNA of those success stories that I am missing.

Building a Successful Website

[ad name=”200x200all”]

Part of the allure of building a website around topics you are passionate about is the reward factor. Can you really get paid to do what you love? Apparently you can. Seems like there are plenty of success stories out there to inspire those of us who have yet to achieve this dream. People like Darren Rowse, Steve Pavlina, and Yaro Starak have all experienced fantastic success in growing their websites and incomes. I would love to reach the same heights as these gentlemen, and when I’m in need of motivation or encouragement, I visit their sites to refresh my determination to keep reaching higher.

The primary goal of this site has always been to discuss all of the great open source (and commercial) website frameworks I’ve come across over the years. My secondary goal is to figure out how to turn one of my passions into a successful and profitable website. The biggest difference between the success stories and myself right now is that they have already traveled the path. These guys have built their names into brands and are reaping the financial rewards of all their hard work.

That’s the idea I want to exploit. I want to travel that path and follow in their foot steps. I am going to document my journey in a step by step fashion by attempting to contribute something to this site’s success every single day. If I can consistently help the sites visibility in even the smallest way, it will be both interesting and exciting to see how the journey progresses over time. The problem is that I haven’t a clue about how to grow a website to the same level as these one man webmaster powerhouses. I’m sure the people experiencing success right now were once neophytes like myself when it comes to growing traffic and income. I’m not sure if they ever shared these kinds of inadequacies with the world, but I’m not afraid to say it. I don’t know how to turn this site into a decent paying work from home job. I hope one day I can look back at this post and have a good chuckle.

So where does one get this magical road map to success? It seems like everyone has tips on how to build a successful website, but I have no idea where to start and who to listen to for advice. I’m going to begin by firing up the Google machine and performing a basic search to see what I find. There’s also a dozen or so blogs out there that I really enjoy reading from time to time, and that list includes the three bloggers I mentioned earlier in this post. I can’t think of a better list of people to take advice from than the ones actually succeeding at what I’m striving to achieve.

Should be an interesting journey to see if all these helpful resources can turn a regular hack like me into one of those success stories.