I’ve been thinking about this over the past few days, I often wonder how the digital world improves our quality of life and why we (I) will spend hours and hours here on my Blog. I love being here, I love sharing, and more importantly I love helping others who struggle with something I find easy to do.
I think we all have something to say, we all have that axe to grind or that helpful tip, and better yet, that word of encouragement to someone who is struggling with whatever. So whats the big deal anyway? Why sit and write Blog Post after Blog Post?
For me it has given me hope, I’ve made more new friends and built strong relationships here, I feel utilized and valued in a way I would probably never be through other means, like working for an ungrateful. I can reach more people here, it gives me an opportunity to share, to help, to make a difference with all the technology knowledge in my head. Technology is what I know, how to use it in business, how to figureout what technology we should use, and how we can make a couple bux from it. That includes Blogging. I love trying to make business human through technology, I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but thats the challenge for me. I know we all need to be validated on some level, anyone who says they don’t, you’re either a narcisist or you have a superiority complex. And I can tell you nobody likes those kind of people to hang out and party with.
So, how has blogging changed your life?
Now that you have read the 3 Core Traffic Drivers, let me share with you how blog traffic = dollars here on Owen Greaves Consulting.
Those of you who know me, know I’m a big time promoter of other peoples products and services, even must get to know people. I’m not your traditional Internet Marketing Junkie, but I do like to make money, I suspect you do to. A few weeks ago I decided to get my feet wet, yes I purchased some products and services, which means I’m eating my own dog food. I believe in the products and services here on my blog, they have helped me, and they actually made me money in a short period of time! I hope they can help you too.
I would be lying to you if I didn’t tell you I spent many, many hours reading, listening and learning about how to make money with a Blog. The truth is, I have done so for two years, studying, and still I did not participate. Why? There was one thing I needed to do before I took the plunge, that was build some traffic.
I’m a stubborn lot and I don’t buy-in to alot of what I see on the Internet, the reason is, I believe I can figure out what those are doing without me spending money. I know, I hear ya chuckling. I will say this, I have figured out the process on my own, it’s not better, it’s just different. Some of you have purchased good products and services, I’m not bashing them, good for you and I hope they are working for you.
I’m merely here to give you hope and share how I was able to generate a few dollars through the little amount of traffic I have been able to attract. No I’m not financially independant, and no I didn’t make 10’s of thousands of dollars here (yet). This story may not impress you but it did me, what impressed me wasn’t the money, it was seeing the process work. The key of course was the traffic, how I got the traffic is now no big secret, it was however the largest investment of time.
The processes that worked for me are the 3 Core Traffic Drivers, Traffic = Dollars, pure and simple. The key is to have something the traffic wants, visitors come to places they find useful, that provide value and help them solve specific challenges.
Before I get into this, you need to know, everything I share, I use, and I believe in. If you don’t use or belive in the product or service you decide to promote on your Blog, DON’T. Eat your own dog food and only then will you be able to convince anyone else to try your recommendations.
– I started monetizing by trying a couple things, one of them is called Ad.ly, Ad.ly is an in-stream advertising platform that matches top-tier Twitter publishers with top-tier brands. I don’t pretend to be top-tier, but I looked into it anyway. This has done nothing to date, but that may be more about me than their system.
– One of the other products / services I looked into is selling products from Amazon, the commisions are actually very, very low so I’m not all hopped up on the program from that stand point. What I like about Amazon is, the huge variety of products available to you, no matter what your Blog or site is about. I promote books from Amazon, Chris Brogans Book TRUST AGENTS, and Gary Vaynerchuks CRUSH IT! are just a few.
– I sell a couple of books on my blog as well, one of them is called Beyond Blogging, this book sells, why, probably because of the 15 Top Bloggers in the book. They share their story, provide direction and enspire you at the same time, I highly recommend you get this book and then go through the worksheet that comes with it.
Another incredible book is called, 31 days to Build a Better Blog By Darren Rowse of ProBlogger, this book is a step-by-step book, also you should know that for the next few days (until 19 January 2010) Darren is offering 3 extra exclusive New Year Bonuses to all buyers of this downloadable workbook. It’s not the same as Beyond Blogging because it’s a How To book in more detail, this book covers daily tasks in considerable detail. These two books are the largest revenue generator on my blog as of this writing.
– One of the other things I looked at was Google Adsense and Chitika, I chose the later, no real good reason other than it was different and not Google. I have nothing against Google, I wanted to try something different. I use their Chitika Mini-mall on my site, it works in conjunction with Google search. I suggest you go to their site to get a much better description of how they work, rather than me trying to explain it.
– And finally my secret weapon, I have used for years now free stuff, but then I bought a theme for my Blog, which I swore I would never do by the way. This purchase is the best move I have ever made for Blogging, I highly suggest you look at what it does and can do for you. I will say this, my traffic has tripled by merely installing the theme, why, SEO is improved dramatically without any configuration by me. Once I learned the Visual Editor and played with the configuration, traffic got even better. The theme in question is NOT Thesis, it’s Headway. Headway Themes has put something together that flat out gets me fired up, I can modify my site on the fly, and the support is Top Draw. I love this product so much, I decided to join their Affiliate Program and promote / sell the theme here on Owen Greaves Consulting. If you want more information, just click here.
So there ya have it, that’s what I’ve been doing so far, I may drop or add depending on what vistors want / need, that’s business on the Internet. All these things also driver traffic to this blog, the 3 Core Traffic Drivers are the backbone, but these products / services are also driving traffic. As you can see it’s not simple thing, nor is it easy, it’s time consuming and strategic. So remember, nothing happens without Traffic, so build it as quickly as you can, then start monetizing, Blog Traffic = Dollars.
Here is my first Blog post of 2010, most of the time a message to share with you only comes after I have failed (learned), so here is something you need to consider. After reading a number of books over the Christmas break on Blogging, Marketing and building brand, one thing stands out over all the tips and tricks you can execute to being a successful blogger. You will read and hear that blogging is hard work, and takes effort and persistance. It does, it takes work & effort to the tenth degree, you can’t just poke a stick at your blog and expect utopia results. I know you know this, you’ve read it, you’ve heard it, but do you realize what it truly means.
Building a business, a Blog or anything of value has a price, you will pay a price, nothing ever comes that easy nor is it free. The truth is, you wouldn’t appreciate it if you didn’t know the value of having to pay the price. It’s the same thing as teaching your kids delayed gratification, learning the value of the dollar and saving money. It all takes time and effort.
The same can be said for building traffic to your blog, there is a misconception that you can go from 100 to 2000 readers overnight. A well established Internet Marketer, the Gary Vaynerchuk’s of the world probably can, Chris Brogan has the ability to create a stir like that too. They will tell you, especially if you’re starting out, it’s not that easy or simple. It takes a well thought out strategy, a plan that makes sense. You would serve yourself well reading Beyond Blogging By Nathan Nangen & Mike Cliffe Jones, you will read insight from 15 very successful bloggers, business owners, speakers and what have you. I mentioned two of these 15 above in this paragraph, they tell they’re stories, what they did and some of how they did it. Worth reading in my humble opinion.
We all start out with eyes of grandeur with our Blogs, thinking it won’t take that long to realize success. I’ve been blogging now for almost two years and only now am I looking at monetizing my efforts. I’m a smart guy, I recognize I don’t know everything, I’m seeking help through various reading materials, joining a number forums, membership sites and learning from those 15 Bloggers in Beyond Blogging. Including the writer’s of the eBook.
I know how to build a traditional business, I know how to build I.T. Strategic Plans, but I don’t know all the tricks to monetizing, building a large readership, or direct large volumes of traffic to my Blog here online. Some things seem logical, but not everything is, there are tricky parts to building a strong following, building large networks of dedicated readers. I’m certain you don’t know everything too, that’s why I recommend and sell books on my blog, I also recommend other products and services. I realize you too may be looking for help, that’s why I’m here, to help that’s it that’s all.
So I ask you, are you sitting still? Setting up a Blog is easy, building a website is a little harder, building a Blog that brings value to those around you is even harder. Building a large following that generates revenue you can live on is a whole nother story. People always come back to things that bring them value. So are you providing value? Are making all the moving parts move?
This takes effort, hard work and patience. You can’t build an online business or a large following and readership if you are sitting still, not doing the doing the work and spending the time it takes to get it done. You must become a student of your business, study those who have gone before you and even better, try to connect with them or meet them whenever possible. Building your following and readership means you are always on the move, connecting, meeting and helping all you come into contact with, you can’t be sitting still!
I rarely ever review Books and or eBooks, in fact, this is probably 1st one I have ever taken the time to write about that I can remember. At my age I wouldn’t be surprised if I reviewed a book a week ago. <grin> Now, I’m not saying books or ebooks are good, bad or otherwise, but lets face it, books are not what they used to be due to the Internet and the digital movement. I do like to having something in my hands I can use a highlighter on, so many times I’ll print the ebook off just to put chicken scratches all over it, but not usually. Enough about my stuff, let’s talk about this new ebook by Nathan Hangen & Mike Cliffe Jones called, Beyond Blogging – The Secrets to Blogging Success! (Affiliate Link)
I have to admit I was hesitant to spend $47 bones on this digital effort, but sometimes your gut talks to you and you just have to invest in your future based on that alone. I bought the ebook, afterall I have some serious goals set for 2010 so invest I did. I started going through it and for some reason I felt kinda weird and deja vu-ish. Maybe it’s because I have been following those interviewed in this ebook and knew alot of their content based on videos, interviews and reading their Blogs. I’ll even admit I didn’t know some of these successful bloggers even existed.
You’ve probably heard already that this ebook is not a step-by-step how to ebook on Blogging. Its actually written more like Think and Grow Rich, you have to actually dig in and figure out what your passion is and what track you should be on. Oh, these guys even include a worksheet to help you work through the exercise. The layout & presentation of this ebook is actually pleasing and easy to read, color choices are pretty good too. After reading through the table of contents I felt like this ebook was more about name dropping and leveraging relationships. But I moved on and to my surprise I found myself enjoying the stories and struggles behind some of these successful bloggers.
There is actually some solid content and advice given throughout the ebook, some smart interesting ways to monetize a blog or website. You will read much of what you may have already learned in Social Media circles. One thing you will get from this ebook, blogging is hard work and requires patience. Blogging is not for everyone, much like driving a forklift, you have to have a passion for what you do.
I recommend you use the shopping cart method when it comes to reading this ebook, some things you buy into and some things you won’t. The things you don’t buy into, just leave them on the shelf and keep the things you do agree with in your cart.
Like Norman Vincent Peale’s Think & Grow Rich, you have to study the book and read between the lines alot to figure out why your stomach has a nervous feeling. That feeling is the not knowing whats coming, it’s ambiguity, it’s knowing there’s something there but you just can’t put your finger on it. You will feel something similar when you read Beyond Blogging, I think there is value in this ebook and what it’s trying to show, tell and lead you through. You will also see a common denominator throughout this ebook, there is a system, a plan needs to be developed, a road map if you will, you need to know what the end will look like to make the principles in this ebook work for you. Keep the end in mind.
You will invest in something, it should be you, it should be books or ebooks, systems,and strategies that provide knowledge you don’t have already. Don’t get stuck on price, approach your journey with a positive attitude and humility, you will go much further than a bad attitude will ever take you.
So, I recommend this ebook as I do Chris Brogan’s Trust Agents and Gary Vaynerchuk’s CRUSH IT! (both affiliate links) I even make them all available for you here on my Blog. Enjoy Beyond Blogging – The Secrets To Blogging Success, I’m certain you will earn, learn and make more than the amount you pay for this 202 paged ebook.
I hope you like the ebook, I would like to hear what you think of the ebook as well.
Happy Learning and Happy Blogging.
As I mentioned in my last post, Chris Brogan also brings it and he to has a great message, he just finished his 4th in a serious on “What it takes to be an overnight success”. Just as I have given Gary Vaynerchuk space here on owengreaves.com, I’m giving Chris Brogan more press as well. I what I like about Chris is his more down to earth and very honest, real message.
Rather than read more of my ranting and perspective, listen to Chris’s 1st video on the serious.