Let me start by saying the title of this post is accurate but it does not have to be your potential if you want to be one of the successful bloggers of your niche.
Like everything else there are winners and losers in blogging and this post is aimed squarely at showing you the reality of blogging through the eyes of a relatively new blogger.
A few months ago I made the decision to start a blog with the intention of creating attractive content that would lead into future affiliate sales via links in my blog posts.
The typical content of my posts was a lot like “native advertising” and contained very little of me and my thoughts on the topic being discussed.
The posts were in reality pseudo sales pages even though I did give some real value.
In hindsight I don’t think I did anything disastrously wrong but the problem was my results.
I attracted very limited traffic and even less engagement on my posts. My “blog community” was pretty much just a few supportive connections I had on Facebook.
The upside was for the first time online I gained a few affiliate sales via the links in my posts.
However, in the cold light of day my sales revenues were far exceeded by my blogging expenses of paid traffic and hosting.
Change of Direction Needed
Reality had set in and I changed my whole strategy of creating blog content.
Sure I still added in appropriate affiliate links but my focus was more on:
Providing attractive compelling content that would hopefully help with the number of pageviews I was getting
Visiting other blogs in my niche that had high engagement and watching just how these guys operated.
I spend quite some time on these blogs contributing the very best comments I could at my level of experience.
I also completely “shelved” the previous sales type approaches I had to everything.
Sales and marketing came easily to me as my role before finally retiring from my “JOB” was running a sales and marketing consultancy business with a focus on training sales and sales management skills.
So to put all these aside took some effort as they are also one of my passions in life but I really wanted my blog posts to focus on sharing my experiences (both good and bad) in the key areas of my chosen niche – internet marketing.
This was my strategy but I soon discovered it needed a lot more work on my mindset.
My Thinking Was Way Off Target
Despite my complete downplaying of any sales and hype in my posts I was then concerned if what I had to say would be of interest to anyone at all.
Once again my blogging venture stalled. Put this down to plain old-fashioned “fear”
Fear that my limited ability and knowledge of blogging would make it difficult for me to create any sort of worthwhile post.
Fear also because deep inside me resided some thoughts about the "time frame" required to make my blogging venture profitable. Is there a better way for me?
In addition to this fear factor I had to accept that blogging is a lot of darn work and the results are not instantaneous or even guaranteed.
Added to this as a result of being completely outside my comfort zone of a sales and marketing focus, I started to feel the growing negative inside me re “what in the heck am I going to blog about?”
Back To The Blog Starting Grid
I remember very clearly one particular Saturday morning in early May this year when I almost used the excuse of helping with our annual rice planting here in my Thai village just to avoid the very thing I needed to do.
It would have been obvious to anyone that to succeed with my blog I had to start creating blog posts that were clear, concise and compelling enough to get my blogging strategy restarted.
It was also important to me (put it down to the fear factor again) that my posts had to be good enough to “pass muster” with some of the big name bloggers in my niche.
When I regularly commented on their blog I was hoping they may after some time pay me some attention, visit my blog and see what in the heck this ancient Aussie marketer was all about.
And they did just that – their visits to my blog were more exciting than any sales I had made previously via my blog.
So there I was sitting there with my laptop and just staring blankly into the windows screen.
Everybody and their dog were telling me that to create a profitable blog I firstly I needed to create posts with compelling content on a regular basis.
But what to create and how in the heck can a brand new blogger like me ever be able to come up with content that is worthwhile let along highly attractive. That latter point is still one of my challenges but I’m working on it!
If you think you are alone worrying like I did about what to blog about check out the screen shot I took today – more than 2 TRILLION search results for the term “what can I blog about”
So let’s fix that issue once and for all.
By simple trial and error plus my in-house research genius, Google Search, I came up with the following process for creating cool content.
Identified the most active forums in my niche
Looked at what was being discussed regularly as well as recent trending questions.
It was easy to identify the most commonly asked questions – the real pains and frustrations of people in my niche. This is what my audience wants and needs
Researched the best answers/solutions
Implemented many these very same solutions
Then I shared the results via video, audio and written posts (the good, the bad and the ugly!)
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My Unexpected Bonus
Like many internet marketers I have build up an email list using various “freebies” and paid traffic sources. However, my list has never been all that responsive with open rates often around the 3% level.
However, since switching my focus to creating more unique and authentic content on my blog, I discovered that the open rates have climbed to around 9%.
My blog posts are my way of building better relationships with my email lists.
Plus just this week have I will have a tech guy install a subscription link on my blog – something I’ve never had before or realized how important it will be to the building of my blog community. Oh we live and learn!
Note: Apart from the “forum approach” I have also used free services like Google Alerts and/or Content Gems to provide hourly, daily or weekly update right into your email inbox of everything trending for whatever keywords you want.
I prefer the forum approach but either way you will no longer a content problem.
Big Problem Encountered
This process worked well for me and I started to get a significant increase in traffic to my blog
However, the process was also killing me as it took so long to do the forum research let alone the other steps in the process.
I needed to streamline my approach to save my sanity!
With this free tool you can now quickly identify lots of potentially mind-blowing blog post content.
Even if you’ve got the cool content thing done and dusted you need to have the correct mindset about your blogging income expectations.
What’s My Earnings Potential as a New Blogger?
If you are reading this post and decide you want to start blogging then make sure it’s for all the right reasons and that you have the correct mindset re expectations.
I have no idea personally. It's way too early for me in my blogging venture to give you any real results but as soon as I have some I'll definitely let you know.
However, there are a range of views on this topic but here are some guidelines I grabbed from the more experienced bloggers in my niche:
Don’t expect to earn any more than 1% of the pageviews to your blog. So if your analytics shows you are getting say 30,000 pageviews then expect at best $300 per month
Most of this income comes from banners on your site plus links to affiliate offers in your posts but the banner income is declining.
ProBlogger conducted some research and found that 9% of bloggers who were trying to make money online were earning between $1K and $10K per month but the vast majority make less than $3.50 per day.
Put it another way their research showed 63% of bloggers earned less than $100 per month but keep in mind the majority of this research was conducted with relatively new bloggers.
Tip: Focus first on quality content and creating traffic to your posts. If you’re short of cash and need the money right now then forget blogging and go get yourself a day job.
How Long Do I Have To Wait for Blogging Success?
Time scales vary and every blogger will have their own unique story to share re their growth journey.
But according to the experts you should allow between 6 months and 6 years to create an income stream that is more than just pocket money levels.
Your blogging activities (even with my recommended free resource) can take 3+ hours per day.
This actual post has taken me about 2 hours to compile before I even upload to my blog. Then I will have to check the formatting and links plus add appropriate/attractive images.
By asking and researching the top blogs in my niche it’s clear that most of these top bloggers have been at it for at least 4+ years.
So blogging is definitely NOT for those of you seeking “passive income streams” but it certainly can be both profitable and extremely rewarding if you implement the guidelines I give you in this post.
4 Keys To Become One Of Those Profitable Bloggers
I assume you don’t want to be one of the majority of bloggers who are quite literally flat broke.
If so and you are prepared to put in the work, then here are some critical things for you to do that I grabbed from Darren Rowse, the renown blogger and founder of ProBlogger Tips:
Always maintain a focus on creating useful and compelling content – and consistently I might add!
Get your butt (my words) off your own blog and go find potential readers – that’s what effective blog commenting is all about.
Sure it takes time like everything else in blogging but even in a few short weeks I have seen significant changes both in the amount of traffic to my blog plus a vastly improved bounce rate. And this traffic is both targeted and FREE!
Always engage FULLY with readers – make sure you always reply to all comments but please don’t just “go through the motions” with your comment responses. Again have a focus on adding value right there as well!
Have some ways to monetize your blog like banners and affiliate offers
Are you a successful blogger? What have been your experiences in blogging especially with potential income levels and the time it took you? Care to share any invaluable tips you have discovered that have helped your blogging business? Do you think the time it takes to create a profitable blog is way too long for you?
Thanks for your visit with me and I look forward to any questions, tips, ideas or strategies you care to share in your comments on this all important topic of blogging.