Every few weeks, I get uber transparent about the steps and the struggles I’m taking to build an online business. Feel free to follow along so you can gain useful internet marketing tactics (and avoid my mistakes). Here is my recent side hustle update:
1.) The REAL truth about blogging: When I started blogging, It took me over a year to make money. But the income was sporadic because I lacked a system. Like many, my sole focus was organic traffic.
Much later, I realized that the real money was in my email list. So I stopped worrying about traffic and I focused instead on acquiring email subscribers. I wrote email campaigns that offered tons of value, built trust and also included offers. This changed everything and compelled me to think about blogging as a business. And with any business, in order to scale, I next needed to figure out my numbers…
2.) Here’s the formula I use: At the end of each month I divide my subscribers by the amount of revenue made. While not totally accurate, this provides a rough estimate of how much each subscriber is worth. For example, let’s say you have 100 subscribers and you make $1000 dollars per month. Then each subscriber is worth roughy $10 dollars. Knowing this number provides a ball park figure for how much I can spend (in advertising) to acquire an email subscriber.
3.) Running ads ain’t (always) easy: Using this scenario, as long as my cost of subscriber acquisition is under $10, I should be able to cover the ad cost and make a margin. “Should” is the operative word. In truth, running ads is all a test and it ain’t easy. Depending on traffic sources and my offer, some campaigns are successful and other campaigns are a complete waste of money.
4.) I’m finally getting there: September will be my ten year blogging anniversary. Can you imagine spending an entire decade of your life trying to convert words into cash? That’s pretty much what blogging is. And at times, I’m embarrassed to admit that it took me five years to consistently make money.
5.) This is my BEST month ever: If you’ve been following my Side Hustle Updates, you know that I’ve gone from making thousands in month in profit, to losing thousands per month! This is because I spent the greater part of this year tearing down and rebuilding my business systems. I put all my info products into one site, I switched email providers and rewrote email campaigns, and I started doing weekly webinars (again) and I turned on advertising.
I’m happy to report (in terms of revenue) this is the BEST MONTH EVER. While not quite there yet, the next goal is to generate at least 1oK per month in blog revenue. To recap, here is the simple system I use to generate revenue:
– Get subscribers
– Build relationships
– Sell more stuff
Had I known the stuff then, I would have saved years. So hopefully this helps you accelerate your own blogging success.
(I’d also like to mention that the stuff I sell is mostly eBooks and training – both my own and affiliate products.)