Even if you already have an awesome job (that you love), it is important to know that everything in life changes.
The truth is, good jobs go away. Companies fail. And unless you create passive income in your spare time, you are risking your financial future. I should know. Years ago I lost my AWESOME job.
That single experience forever changed my life. It forced me to create a profitable blog. And the income from that blog has freed me up to achieve some awesome stuff!
While this is my personal site, I am going to provide you with blogging tips and tactics so you can start, run and grow a successful blog.
If you read all the articles, including interviews and how-to tips – You might just find an idea that changes your life for the better. Does this make sense?
How I Started An Online Business
If you were watching the news back in 2008, you may remember that Lehman Brothers went bankrupt. That was my employer. And I loved my job. It afforded me the ability to travel a lot, pay for a nice apartment and never worry about the price of food on menus.
The job also allowed me to produce several independent movies.
Then I got fired.
Suddenly everything sucked. I spent the first few months watching my savings deteriorate.
I moved out of my nice apartment and “downsized” into a one room studio.
Since I could no longer afford cable television, the only option I had for entertainment was my internet connection and a half-broken laptop computer.
Blogging Started To Get Fun
I spent my days looking for work. I went to to interview after interview, but like a lot of folks, I just couldn’t get a break.
This led to many depressing, lonely nights.
The only distraction was the daily emails I received from aspiring filmmakers, asking for advice. And because I had the time, I often responded with long, elaborate emails explaining the good and not-so-good aspects of making a movie.
After a few weeks, I realized that most filmmakers were asking similar questions. And then I thought: Why not put FAQs on a website and simply send filmmakers there?
Out of these initial email responses, I created Filmmaking Stuff, a site dedicated to indie filmmakers who wanted to make, market and sell their movies.
My Niche: Independent Filmmaking
Every week I sat down and wrote a series of articles. At first, my website traffic was a big fat zero. But because I had nothing else going on, I decided to keep adding content to my blog.
Blogging kept me sane. It gave me purpose.
And after two months of steady writing, my traffic grew to about ten visits per day.
Having visitors felt amazing!
Then one day another filmmaker blogger quoted one of my articles on his site. This instantly increased my traffic. I was like a kid at Christmas. I kept logging into my Google Analytics account (a free tool from Google that lets you monitor your visits), watching as my traffic approached, and then surpassed 100 visitors!
I remember celebrating this event with my girlfriend over dinner. It was one of those nights where I kept glowing in my enthusiasm.
Can you believe it? 100 visitors!
Even though I wasn’t yet making money blogging, celebrating this achievement gave me enough enthusiasm to keep writing. In the weeks to come, I added dozens of articles. And with each article, my daily views increased.
At that time I knew nothing about SEO or any sort of fancy blogging strategy.
I just knew that people seemed to read what I wrote, so I kept on writing. And soon my traffic grew into roughly fifty visitors per day. With increased traffic, one question keep going through my mind: How do I make money blogging?
I started reading everything I could about internet marketing.
It seemed like every blogging expert had some sort of secret formula for making money online. While many of the resources seemed too good to be true, the one consistency I found was this: The Money Is In your List.
Build A Mailing List
Most times, people will visit your blog and never return.
People are busy with a family, a demanding job and bills. Life can be extremely distracting. As a result, the moment these visitors click away from your blog, they may forget about you and never return.
To solve this problem, I decided to add a little opt-in form to my website to collect the names and email addresses of each visitor.
After a few months, I had over 200 newsletter subscribers. I was amazed that people took the time to read my emails!
A Major Publication Hires Me
One morning I awoke to a bunch of emails from indie filmmakers congratulating me.
As it turned out, my blog was included among MovieMaker Magazine’s list of the top fifty blogs for independent filmmakers!
Can you imagine?
With this news, I reached out to the editor of the MovieMaker Magazine and pitched her an idea for an article.
She bought it. And a few months later, my words were in print in a major magazine.
The article drove more traffic to my site, which allowed me to get more people to opt-into my newsletter.
I was building authority.
Making Money Blogging
For the first year of blogging, I did not make any money. But I had tons of content.
So I decided to re-purpose and add to my content to create an educational, information product. The product included an eBook and an audio download geared towards first time filmmakers.
The product solved a very basic problem: How do first time filmmakers make a low budget movie?
My product launch was straightforward, with none of that marketing hype those internet marketing gurus promote.
I simply reached out to a few other filmmaker bloggers, gave them a copy of my product and asked them if they would promote to their subscribers. As an incentive, I offered to pay a 50% commission for any sales.
On the day of my first product launch, I felt pretty discouraged.
I kept checking my email. And nothing. . .
But then I made a sale. . .
And then another. . .
By sundown, I had generated close to $800 dollars!
While this amount was not in the millions that many internet marketing experts promise, it was enough to pay rent for a month.
Suffice it to say, my love of blogging and internet marketing was validated! Since that time…
Since my first sale, I have repeated the strategies outlined here over and over, which allowed me to scale up my blogging business. More content production attracted more traffic, which led to more list opt-ins, which led to more sales.
The other thing that happened was I became somewhat “known” to thousands of people within the independent filmmaking community. As a result of this notoriety, I was invited to speak and participate on panel discussions at various film festivals.
I was also invited to participate in a panel discussion at the Sundance Film Festival!
If you do not know this, Sundance is the most popular film festival in the world! And the result was – you guessed it: More subscribers and more sales!
Writing My First “Traditional” Book
This was especially helpful when I released my first traditional, physical book.
Instead of sending out letters to traditional book publishers, I decided to self-publish my book and get it into Amazon.
Once complete, I emailed my list and told them to buy book.
Suffice it to say, with a few thousand email subscribers, selling my book was a cinch. A few months after my book launch, something else happened. Thanks to my blog and my book, I was offered a very lucrative job with a Hollywood movie distribution company.
This new position not only paid well, it also allowed me to cement my credibility as a trusted authority in the independent film space. The results of which have opened the door to more speaking events, more subscribers and more sales.
While all of these wonderful opportunities did not come easy, they are all a result of my blog.
I share this with you, because I want to add inspiration to your life. Had I not gotten fired from Lehman Brothers and suffered the loss of comfort, I may have never have gotten creative.
The world has changed. If you want to succeed, you need to build authority through blogging! Click Here to Get My Blogging Checklist.