Going All In And A Look To The Past

Going All In

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.

PTC Sites

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”.

Banner Ads

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:

Authority Blog Profits

You should know that the site is still under construction though.

Moving Out

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).

Conclusion

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 still need to become proficient on stuff like Amazon S3 hosting, Easy Video Player, WishList Member and even a few other scripts to create the affiliate promotion tools.

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.

Sergio

About The Author

Sergio Felix

Hi, I’m Sergio Felix, founder of Marketing With Sergio. I work full time as a digital marketing expert for the retail industry managing a team of experts in departments of SEO, SEM, front-end web development and conversion rate optimisation and in my spare time I love conducting offline digital marketing workshops and teaching other entrepreneurs how to build and maintain business oriented websites with WordPress. I’m highly passionate about blogging, writing, music, jogging, entrepreneurship and personal development.

25 Comments

  • Patrick Griffin

    Reply Reply November 25, 2012

    Hi Sergio,
    It is great that you have so many solid plans for the next few years – now that you know where you want to be, and by when, you can measure your progress as you make your way there.

    I also love the way that you just do things differently, the way you want to do things yourself. Your irst product is not going to be like the first product of 99 per cent of new marketers out there.

    The conventional training is just to throw something out there and test the market and then develop something a little better next time round…however that approach is not you.

    Great move in building a list of subscribers ahead of launching the product.

    The pieces are all beginning to slot together nicely now I feel.

    P

    • Sergio Félix

      Reply Reply November 25, 2012

      Hey Patrick, yes indeed man, those are long-term plans and I finally have them well defined now.

      Thanks for all the support and feedback, I couldn’t have done any of this without your help! ;-)

  • James Hughes

    Reply Reply November 25, 2012

    Hi Sergio

    It’s good to see you back mate.
    Great insight on blogging I’m looking forward to your new product.

    Cheers

    James

  • Paul Eveleigh

    Reply Reply November 25, 2012

    Hey Sergio,

    Great post and insight into your progress and successes, I like your use of a blog as a hub to brand yourself and create a USP.

    Looking forward to your “Blog Profits” course, you’ve clearly been hard at work to create 130+ videos. Good work.

    All the best in your new home

    Paul

    P.S. How did the marathon go?

    • Sergio Félix

      Reply Reply November 25, 2012

      Thank you Paul, I really believe the training will be packed with lots of value and considering I always go for quality before quantity, I think people are really going to benefit from it.

      Sadly, I had to switch the marathon training to focus on finishing this product. It was a small marathon (200 people) from a local newspaper so I didn’t miss much but I really wanted to run it.

      There’s an upcoming marathon next week which is huge in Mazatlán (a two hour drive mexican beach from here) but I’m not prepared for it nor will I have the time with moving out now.

      Good thing is there’s another international marathon on January right here where I live, which is the official city marathon and I’m DEFINITELY running that one, I’ll keep you posted here.

      There’s a lot of plans I have for myself on the new appartment that will include healthy stuff like dieting, exercise, running, juicing but I’ll talk about it on another site, not this one (I’ll let you guys know about it when I release it).

      Thanks again for stopping by Paul, have a great weekend man!

  • Cararta

    Reply Reply November 25, 2012

    Think and Do!

    You’ve Bagged it Sergio. Couldn’t happen to a harder working guy.

    How do you get your Comment Luv to display the comment authors so nicely?
    I seem to have a problem with mine!

    Moving in the middle of a Launch…a lot of things going on. Maybe you will be lucky and Murphy’s Law will take a vacation!
    C.

    • Sergio Félix

      Reply Reply November 25, 2012

      Thank you Cararta, I guess the hard work was going to pay sooner or later right?

      CommentLuv is obviously taking some css settings from the blog (links for example) do you have a link where I can take a quick look at to know what you mean?

      PS. I’m expecting some things to go wrong, that way I won’t be stressed and losing my head over minor issues but I’m preparing as hard as I can, I still need to sort out my helpdesk too so thanks for the reminder.

  • Daniel Sumner

    Reply Reply November 26, 2012

    Hey Sergio, hope you are well my friend. I know how hard you have worked on this product, I’m sure it’s going to be a winner. Congrats on the move, you an finally settle in and get your work done without the noise this time :-)
    Congrats again man well done!

    Dan

    PS – mail!

    • Sergio Félix

      Reply Reply November 27, 2012

      Hey Daniel, I’m doing as much as I can my man and this product is no exception.

      Thanks for supporting me and I believe this is my last day at my parents, I have most of my things on the new appartment already.

      PS. Thanks for the suggestion in your e-mail, I will sort that out as soon as possible! ;-)

  • Khaja moin

    Reply Reply November 27, 2012

    Hey Sergio,
    Thanks for the long post :)
    If am not wrong may be this is the longest post I read on your blog. And it`s very helpful.
    Dropped my email… Waiting for your product!

    Khaja

    • Sergio Félix

      Reply Reply November 27, 2012

      Hey Khaja, you’re welcome my friend and I actually have written longer posts than this one. ;-)

      Thanks for being interested in Authority Blog Profits, I’ll be adding the promotion tools very soon!

  • Matt Morgan

    Reply Reply November 27, 2012

    Hello Sergio, how are you doing?….I hope you are fine.

    Well done in developing your wordpress training including the effort into your graphics and videos.

    You will get better at Amazon s3 hosting with practice. Practice makes perfect.

    Congratulations on your progression to your new product, and I am sure thousands of customers will benefit from it by applying it.

    Matt Morgan

    • Sergio Félix

      Reply Reply November 27, 2012

      Hey Matt, I’m doing amazing man, thank you and yeah, this product has forced me to learn and relearn new stuff I never dabbled with before.

      I don’t think Amazon S3 is going to represent much of a challenge to understand but I still don’t know what I’ll be facing, I’m feeling positive about it and thanks for the great wishes.

      Not sure if I’ll have thousands of buyers but I’m sure those that do buy, will be happy with the training, cheers and thanks for stopping by Matt!

  • Andrew Stark

    Reply Reply November 27, 2012

    Hi Sergio,

    As others have said, it’s great to see the cogs of your hard work all lining up together ready for you to have success.

    Bang on the money with the idea to use your blog as a hub for your authority product, use think of how copyblogger & problogger use their authority to sell related products. Make sure that your audience have a way of sending you money or hiring you, that’s the way forward.

    Enjoy the freedom of living away from home, I moved out at 18 and would not be able to cope well with my mother in the same house.

    Andrew

    • Sergio Félix

      Reply Reply November 27, 2012

      Hey Andrew, thanks a lot man, I have literally worked my ass off to make this first product the best it can be.

      Copyblogger and ProBlogger are huge at monetizing their niches, I just love all the stuff those guys create (Brian Clark, Darren Rowse, Chris Garrett, etc).

      This is actually my last night at my parent’s house and I really can’t wait for tomorrow, I’m eager to get started and continue working on the product.

      Thanks for stopping by and hope you had a great start of week man!

      PS. Out at 18? Wow, I was out at 20 and I still believe I was too young for that.

  • Tanisha Ajokatcher

    Reply Reply November 27, 2012

    Sergio i like your blog and even though you dont have a product of your own you still make great income online…..results are what matters..

    • Sergio Félix

      Reply Reply November 29, 2012

      Hey Tanisha, yeah I guess results are what matters in the end, thanks for stopping by!

  • Barry Wells

    Reply Reply November 28, 2012

    Hi Sergio,

    good to see you back mate.

    I’ve just signed up to your early bird list and look forward to seeing the inside of your product. 130 videos and growing, man this is going to be some trip ;)

    You’re on the money when it comes to blogging. We have to be ourselves to let people know who we are and what we’re really about. We’ve all heard the term fake it until you make it and this is totally wrong as we’ll never gain any trust that way.

    Good luck with moving home Sergio, i think it’s one of the most stressful things we put ourselves through ;)

    Take care mate and best of luck with completing your product :)

    Barry

    • Sergio Félix

      Reply Reply November 29, 2012

      Hey Barry, thanks for the warm welcome back and for jumping on board man!

      Being ourselves is the fastest and easiest way to connect with our visitors these days, anyone not doing this, is not going to see results fast or any results at all.

      I woke up today here (new place) and I had the initial “where the heck am I?” feeling but now I’m okay lol I still need to sort out a lot of stuff but I’m getting there.

      Thanks again for the support and for the great wishes man, I really appreciate it! ;-)

  • Sapna

    Reply Reply November 29, 2012

    Hi Sergio

    Congratulations for your 130 videos, I being a programmer myself, can understand how much effort you must have put in making the videos. You make great online money. You are another source of inspiration.

    Thanks
    Sapna

    • Sergio Félix

      Reply Reply November 29, 2012

      Thank you Sapna, there was no programming needed in recording the videos and they are on subjects like WordPress but I still appreciate the kind comment, take care and good luck with your new startup!

  • Cararta

    Reply Reply November 29, 2012

    Coming down to the finish! I got behind with my posting, caught up a little
    today.
    Wrote some articles while listening to that RP Podcast…straight to ezine and published…interesting way to work!
    If you need me, Yell on FaceBook ..ArtaGene make it there most every day.
    Cararta

  • TK

    Reply Reply December 1, 2012

    Great stuff Sergio, I really do enjoy reading your material

    TK

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