People ask what I do and it’s difficult to explain, but part of what I do is teach people to make better websites and get exponential growth to those websites.
A number of people come to me asking for help, often asking me to build websites for them, but it’s not the website that matters. It’s what goes in that website.
The hard work of making something truly remarkable by simply writing better articles and solving your reader’s problems is what makes a successful website. Until this happens, website design or mechanics will do nothing for you.
A close friend of mine wants to become internet famous so he can have a real impact on a great number of people…and so he can buy a lambo some day. So I’m going to document my advice for him here so that you can follow along.
If you’re starting out blogging, you likely face a number of questions that you don’t yet have answers to.
I’m going to give you some of those answers and ask you some better questions which will help you come up with your own answers.
Why do you need a website or a blog anyway?
I tell everyone to start blogging. Everyone.
Not everyone is going to be successful at it. Not everyone has the talent nor is willing to develop the talent by knocking out post after post week after week.
That said, blogging is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to make a ton of money and to have an impact in the world. A lot of very ordinary people have made amazing lives because they were able to hit that post button every week.
As a normal human being you probably know a couple hundred people. Can you imagine knowing 10,000 people?
What do you feel like when you help a close friend with something? It feels good right?
Now multiply that by the 10,000 people that might read your blog every month (this is a tiny number of followers).
Imagine having 10,000 contacts in your phone. Imagine the things you can learn, the access you can get.
For the previous 100 years what did it take for a million people to know who you were? To be famous? You literally had to be put on television, chosen to become famous. You had to look a certain way, act a certain way, work your way up. It was like winning the lottery.
Now your average person with a keyboard or a webcam has the power to reach people that even major corporations with millions of dollars in marketing budgets can’t reach.
When these numbers get to be really big, the types of people you can connect with starts to change.
When you need advice about cars, you can ask your friend who knows more than you do about cars. When a million people read your blog, one of those people will be a mechanic for a race car team.
It’s difficult to comprehend these numbers, but no matter what you’re expecting, your underestimating the impact of a large following.
You don’t have to be special to make this happen. You only have to connect with people. Other people are facing the same problems you face, they think the same thoughts you think. They have the same fears and aspirations. Your job is to have an impact on those people.
Writing makes you better
Writing forces you to distill these vague ideas floating around in your head and turn them into concrete words and advice. It makes you smarter and it teaches you what you should already know, but actually don’t.
By being forced to write for other people, your readers, your held accountable to these ideas, your forced to improve and learn.
Building a following makes it very easy to make money.
How do I make money by blogging?
This is often what keeps people from starting. They don’t understand how they will make money. Maybe they don’t want to make a product or they don’t understand affiliate marketing.
They worry that they will do all this work and not get paid. They want to be paid on day one. This is not how it works.
Here’s all you need to understand.
SOME percentage of people will buy whatever it is you come up with to sell. It could be anything.
Maybe it’s 5%, Maybe it’s 1%. Maybe it’s a fraction of one percent.
When you have hundreds of thousands of people that follow you and read your every word, that percentage can be really tiny. Even 10,000 subscribers is enough to make a six figure income not working very hard.
It’s simply a numbers game. 10,000 subscribers * 1% conversion is 100 sales. You can get 100 sales of something just sending an email.
You are instantly turned into the greatest salesman ever, simply because of the scale.
If you are smart and are willing to learn how to sell or how to write copy, you can become extremely effective at selling, and you can sell things that help your subscribers and make their lives better.
For now, all you have to worry about is the following. If you can provide enough value to people that they keep reading your stuff, watching your videos, listening to your podcasts, whatever it is you do, then there are a thousand ways to make a very comfortable living or even getting rich without doing a lot of work. They will want more from you and they will pay for it.
Just a few examples of what you can do to make money:
- Put ads on your site for other good products
- Send emails about products you like to your followers
- Charge a few dollars to access to some of your better blog posts
- Make a video course teaching something
- Endorsing products
- Throwing live seminars where you or other people give talks or demos
- Sell your art, music, writing, etc.
- Do coaching or consulting
Because we have a hard time comprehending the large numbers of people that we can reach, most people have a hard time seeing how these numbers work financially.
When 10,000 people read your email. SEVERAL of those people are millionaires. Many more of them are highly price insensitive.
There are a dozen people out of those 10,000 subscribers that will pay you astronomical rates for your services.
If you can get 10,000 people to read your emails every week, you can get 20 of them to pay you $500 a month for some sort of reasonable service. That can be your full time income. Talking to 20 people a week month.
You don’t know what that service would be? Good!
The less you worry about that the better, because once you build a following all you have to do is ask them what they want and they will tell you.
So before we put this all out of your mind, one last bit.
How much can you make blogging?
A good rule of thumb is $1 per month per subscriber if you are decent at what you do and put some sort of product out.
10,000 subscribers is $10,000 a month in sales
If you’re really good, your products are really good you might make $2-5 per subscriber. Less if you suck.
On to the important stuff
What is it you’re going to write and why?
This is really important. You need to know WHY you are writing. Who is it you want to help? What can you do for them?
The web is full of people cranking out 500 word articles of garbage because they think they’re writing for google’s search engine or they’re writing to entertain people.
These people fail one after another.
There’s just too many other people churning out garbage that your garbage isn’t going to accidentally fall at the top of the rankings. The numbers are against you.
The thing that still to this day blows my mind is how low the bar has been set.
When you look out across the web you see a massive amount of competition. Anything you could ever want to know is available for free.
The problem is that everything you could ever want to know is available for free and spread across the internet. It’s disorganized and unuseful. People want answers, they don’t want to spend a bunch of time wading through this trash.
What people need is not one more thin article with three tips on how to do something no one cares about.
What they need is a well organized website designed to systematically solve their problems giving them all of what they need, but only what they need, so that they don’t have to waste time going to all these other terrible sites. They also need help executing these ideas, not just theory alone.
So you need to know who these people are and what it is that you’re going to help them with. All of your decisions must be filtered through this lens.
If you do this, you can absolutely dominate all of the other sites on the internet because they just aren’t very good. We’re in the early days of the web and it’s wide open.
There are a number of reasons for this, but at this point just trust me. All you need is to focus on your readers and solving their problems.
Write down the answers you have for these questions. You may be wrong about them for now, but take your best shot. You have to start somewhere and write something in order to find out what it is you are good at and what people want. Get some paper and do it right now.
First off just list a bunch of things you want to write about. Don’t skip ahead.
Next write down your answers to these questions
- What can you do that no one else can do?
- What problem can you solve that other people just aren’t going to solve any time soon?
- What type of people do you want to connect with?
- Who are they?
- What do they do?
- How old are they?
- Where do they live?
- What are their fears, needs, desires?
- What do they read?
- What do they spend money on?
- What makes you mad?
- What makes you happy?
- What are some things that are important enough to dedicate yourself to working on?
- What are people’s common misconceptions that hold them back?
- What is it that people need to be aware of?
Take a look at your answers here.
- What themes are patterns do you see?
- How might these ideas be organized? Chronologically, by subject, by difficulty, by importance?
- Take these vague ideas and drop them into categories. Write down your categories.
- Take these categories and break them down into subcategories.
- Take your subcategories and break them down into articles.
- You can use a mind mapping software like mindjet at this point to organize your thoughts or just take a piece of paper and draw or list out ideas.
Now take this mess of ideas and put them in order of best, easiest, whatever and pick the first one. Remember your goal is to create something that solves problems.
Pick something simple or easy, and write the most thorough article you can about this piece, knowing that you can and will come back to it later and update it. Then hit publish
You don’t need a logo or a fancy theme. You need a default wordpress install and the publish button.
Do this today and come back for your next assignment.
Image courtesy Ben