It’s been three weeks since I last posted on the Marketing With Sergio blog and there’s a huge reason for that…
Actually it’s several reasons but let’s focus on what matters for now and that is building an online business.
You see, a blog will always be a blog and it doesn’t necessarily means that it’s an online business, that’s exactly where I want to dive in with this post.
The mere fact you have a self-hosted wordpress blog doesn’t mean that you’re going to start making money right away with it.
I consider a blog to be just the marketing hub but you definitely need something else to make money online.
That something else is your brand and your authority.
In other words, what are you known for?
Making My First Dollar Online
Technically speaking, I still haven’t made my first dollar online.
Sure, I’ve made some money from affiliate marketing, offline marketing and a little bit of consulting here and there but I haven’t created a product of my own, released it to the public and made some money from it.
I can’t give you any details since I can’t login to my PayPal account right now but after creating my first ever wordpress blog, I made money at about the fourth month if I remember correctly.
It wasn’t one dollar though, I made about ten dollars in total and this had nothing to do with my blog since it came from those PTC (paid to click) sites.
I reinvested the ten dollars back and some more money from my own wallet (it wasn’t much though) and then those ptc sites came back and bit me in the ass so I obviously found out PTC sites weren’t a sustainable model to make money online and besides I felt like an idiot clicking on links for hundreds of times just to earn some cents a day.
Business In A Box
Then I bought a BIAB (business in a box) that actually looked like a business.
I invested about $300 on this (it was a collection of programs and I upgraded in everything since I didn’t want to cripple my slim chance of success in any way) and it turned out this thing was old.
OLD as in freaking ANCIENT.
It used to work in the past because nobody knew about it so if you promoted that, chances were you were going to make money with it.
I still see people promoting this particular offer and I honestly feel a little for them because if I try to alert them they are just wasting their time, money and efforts, there’s a huge possibility I’m just going to be pointed at and be called names for not “working the system”.
This one is funny as hell, I honestly thought that if you had a blog with lots of visitors and placed some banner ads you were going to make money from those.
Oh boy, how wrong was I!
I had banner ads since day one and kept writing blog posts like there was no tomorrow, what I thought about gurus, what you should do when getting started so you could avoid my own mistakes, I was practically sharing everything I could.
So to sum this one up, I never made one single sale from any of that until all of a sudden I found out $50 USD in my PayPal account.
My heart was literally pounding on my chest and I immediately thought “this has to be a mistake, my account is ALWAYS at zero!”.
It turns out that Hostgator pays your affiliate commissions after three months of closing the sale so that money was actually made from banners I had on the blog and that changed my whole perspective on making money online with a blog.
Treat Your Blog As Your Marketing Hub
Your blog is not your online diary, treat it as your marketing hub!
I got started online on about August 2010, made my first bucks starting on January 2011 and by February I had my first $50 day from an affiliate offer like I just told you above.
Obviously at this point I knew I had something going on and wanted to build momentum so I figured out I was going to write reviews on whatever I was using.
I wrote a detailed review on a Lee McIntyre’s offer and next day I had about $60 USD sitting on my PayPal account, I made three $19.95 sales in less than 24 hours.
Mind you, I had NO AWeber list (or any other) at this point, I wasn’t capturing leads of any kind, heck I didn’t even know what RSS was and I still closed those three sales down with that post.
What I’m trying to tell you here, is that if your blog sucks (for any reason) it is very hard you’re going to make any money from it.
What Are The Elements Of A Great Blog?
Let’s keep this simple… first of all, you need to come out being YOURSELF and really putting yourself out there.
If I ask this question to any professional blogger, here are the possible answers you’ll get:
- Ninja design so you’re unique
- Superb SEO skills
- Ridiculous amazing pillar content
- Huge branding McDonald’s level
- No adsense so people won’t leave your site for cents
- Jedi mind tricks to improve conversions
- No distractions so people do exactly what you want
- And this list can really go on and on
It doesn’t matter if you have the greatest looking blog ever, if it loads lightning fast, if you have killer pillar content, blah blah blah all you need to be aware of is about branding yourself and coming up with a unique selling proposition (USP).
Sure, having a blog that has all those features helps but if you don’t have a USP yet, then you need to start finding yours NOW because you won’t get far by playing the “This is my little cute blog and I’m just documenting my IM journey and I hope to be a millionaire very soon” game.
I know this because I went through it myself and I did it religiously.
It just doesn’t work like that.
You need to be good at something even if it is baking cakes and then writing about that so you can start building your audience and do it with a hot passion.
After that, you can worry about having a better looking blog, improving conversions, then as you learn more maybe optimizing it for speed, etc, etc but first of all, you need to have an audience, this is very important so make sure you get what I’m saying.
And to build an audience what do you need? You need to be an authority first.
And how do you become an authority? Well you have to put YOURSELF first and show others what you’ve got.
Are you seeing the spectrum more clear now?
Going Back To Basics
I already told you how I made my first bucks online, which then turned into $19.95 payments, then $50 payments, then I scaled that up to $1,500 for a wordpress site that took me less than one week to create and had four pages and one section for news.
If we roll back all of that, the money came strictly from reviews (the $1,500 site is an exception to this as it was an offline gig) but the people who bought from me already knew who I was, they TRUSTED me when they decided to buy from me.
Now here’s something I want to confess…
If you come up to my blog, leave a great comment, then I go and visit your link (I ALWAYS do that) and I see you talking about how you are just getting started and how great some training is that you’re involved with and how you have this plan to make stuff happen… (pay attention now)
IF… I believe the review is honest and not hyped out, the offer looks good and I feel I can benefit from it and have the money to pay for it, I AM BUYING IT.
You don’t need to be a guru or have a blog with a thousand posts to get my attention, you just need to come across VERY REAL and if I genuinely think you’re being honest, I would have ZERO issues buying right away from you.
That’s as simple as it gets.
And it doesn’t needs to be an affiliate program, I have bought written books from people just getting started, some were good, some were crap but hey, if you’re just getting started and it was a $1 or $5 product, I’m okay with that, you’re learning!
What I’m Doing Myself Business-Wise
Okay I don’t want to preach all the entire post, I’ve been really busy creating a wordpress training that is video based, has more than 130+ videos as I write this (it’s going to have more) and it focuses on the technical aspects because that’s what I’m good at.
It can literally take you from zero to hero and it can also teach a thing or two to more seasoned wordpress users.
Note: since this blog is read by both newbies AND some very advanced wordpress users, I’m not trying to impress YOU guys, if I wanted to impress you, wordpress would be the last topic I would choose but I know for sure you would be interested to know how the heck did I made more than $30K with just ONE website but more on that for another day. ;-)
So the idea is to release this upcoming training as soon as possible, some people already looked at the graphic design that is being used, at the topics covered, at the sales funnel and I have received some very positive feedback on it.
Will it be a hit or a miss? Only time will tell but I can tell you this, I have poured my heart, soul and brains on this like you have no idea.
Important: If you want to register as an early bird for this training just click the image down below:
You should know that the site is still under construction though.
On top of this wordpress training, I am moving out.
Today I literally spent about $1,000 upfront just for ONE month for an appartment that is completely empty, apart from an old stove in the kitchen.
I still have to sort out water, gas, internet, see what parking box is for me which by the way I won’t be holding for long since I want to get rid of my SUV already and well, you get the idea.
The place is well lit and I’m thinking on using it as both my home and office in a more formal way.
Living with my parents is comfortable but the working environment is impossible too so I need to take things into my own hands and I also need a place for myself so this is it.
I’m thinking about this on a temporary term, I’m getting married on November 2013 so right after that happens I want to have plans to see the world with my girl for at least a year and then pick a place to settle down (possibly Guadalajara or maybe something in the USA, although I fell in love with Spain and I have legal rights to get that second nationality from my grandma so who knows).
Anyway, this is a long update but if you like what I’m doing this is the least thing I could do to share with you.
Developing this wordpress training forced me to become really good in Optimize Press and I had to regain skills I had lost or forgotten on graphic design and coding.
I don’t think this training will have everything because anyone that claims that, is full of it but I honestly think it will have great value for the action takers that decide to roll with it to the end.
So if you made it all the way here, a million thanks for reading and engaging me on my content and I’ll update you very soon on what the heck happens in my side of our little, really crazy internet marketing world.
Take care and speak soon, bye for now.