Six years ago, I was completely broke. So broke that my wife and I lived in a hotel and only had enough money to buy a bag of fish sticks from Wal-Mart. Without a microwave in our hotel, we ate nothing but cold fish sticks for three days until we got student loan money from me being in law school.
After listening to Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income podcast, I saw a way for me to make a little money while in school by starting a blog. Within 3 months, my blog already earned a little money. 6 months in and I was making a significant income (about $2,000 per month if I remember right).
Now, my blog makes more money than I could have ever dreamed possible. In fact, I don’t publish income reports anymore because of legal concerns, but my last published income report was from 2014, which shows that I earned over $500,000 that year (and please don’t take that the wrong way. I only share that with you because I want you to know what is possible). More importantly, I’ve created a very nice monthly income that my family can reliably depend on. Even more importantly, I wake up excited to start my work each day, and I feel like I have enough freedom in my schedule that I can spend quality time with my AWESOME wife and three kids.
I created this site with one single goal in mind: To help families earn enough income to allow them to focus on what matters most–family! Internet marketing and blogging just so happens to be an AMAZING way to do it!
That’s my story, but this isn’t about me. This site is about me helping you to write your family’s own success story.
So let’s get started…
There are many different approaches to online business and countless choices in the technology of how you will run your website. I don’t pretend my approach to internet marketing is the only approach, but I want you to get started on your site immediately, so there is no time to waste.
This is my 10-step recipe for building a successful blog. If you aren’t starting from scratch, just click the link to the step you’re working on now to get started at that part of the tutorial.
Niche Site SchoolThis 10-step tutorial is a free guide. If you feel like you need more direction on how to build your site, create good content, and direct traffic to your site so that you can start earning an income, then please look at our niche site consultation and course.
We spent a considerable amount of time developing our recipe for a successful niche site and this comes as the culmination of several years of success and failure building, buying, and selling niche sites.
Launch a site – Build a following – Earn a living
- Answer one simple question: What is one way I can be helpful by sharing information on a website? (Answer this, and you already have the idea for your site).
- Create a wordpress site (I’ll walk you step-by-step through this one. No technical experience necessary, but it will cost you about $100 to start).
- Make your site surprisingly helpful.
- Make the site looked lived in (This is a VERY important step!)
- Stop returning traffic to sender.
- Open the floodgates. Learn how I built an audience and the quickest way for you to do it as well.
- Be so friendly to your subscribers that they become fans. Reply to EVERY comment on your blog, EVERY email, EVERY Facebook post. In this step you need to grow a core group of loyal fans
- Develop a publishing routine.
- Monetize your site.
- Refresh your Paypal account 500 times per day to see the money roll in. (I have this habit and still can’t quite break it. It’s just too much fun! Six years in, and I still am amazed to see how I can earn a living online).
Creating a successful blog does not happen overnight, but if you build it… dead baseball players will soon appear in your backyard corn field. (Sorry, if you didn’t catch the movie reference, just pretend this sentence never happened).
You are almost ready to start your business, but you are likely to have a few questions before you begin. Let’s knock those out right now:
How much will it cost me to start my online business?
I started my business with a $4.95/month website hosting plan from Bluehost, and nothing else. If you’re eating cold fish sticks right now, it is possible to succeed without significant resources and I will show you how.
If you can invest a tiny bit of money to start, I’ll also show you a path that costs about $200 but will get you a significant jumpstart over the way I did it. This added money will help you get a really nice wordpress theme and a killer logo so the site looks professional from day one.
But $100-$200 is really all it takes, and you have SO much to gain! Do WHATEVER YOU HAVE TO DO to get started. Sell something to get the $100, do some side work, eat top ramen for a month, etc. It’ll be worth it if you put in the work over the next few months to build a good site.
What if I have no clue what my site should be about?
Most people spend 2 months over-analyzing this question and then they give up. Don’t let that happen to you. Just pick a topic and start your website before you go to bed tonight.
I’ll help you pick a topic for your site, but really all you need to do is answer one simple question: What is one way I could be helpful to people by sharing information on a website?
If you’re stuck on this step, read this article with 50 website ideas ripe for the taking, and also consider doing a niche site idea consultation with me (you fill out a survey and tell us about you, and Ricky or I personally read your survey info and record a 10 minute audio file talking through some ideas for you. I email you the audio file with my feedback). But that’s an added expense. You probably don’t even need to do that, but I just wanted to let you know it was available.
What if I don’t have expertise in anything?
Neither did I! When I started my photography blog (where most of my income comes from), I was interested in photography but FAR from an expert. I simply started my site by telling visitors that I was a hobbyist photographer who loved photography, and I would share blog posts with them of the things I learn along the way. My audience appreciated the down-to-earth approach and that took all the pressure off me. In fact, some of the more experienced readers of my site were really helpful and shared cool new photography tips with me that helped me to improve.
If you aren’t quite sure what I mean by being honest about your knowledge of the subject matter, watch this youtube video. This is by a guy named Dave Dugdale. I have never met him, but he is a perfect example of how this works. He wanted to learn videography so he created a Youtube channel explaining the things he learned each day. People loved it and he now is very successful with his videography business.
How do you actually earn money by creating a blog?
I’ll walk you through lots of different methods for making money from your blog, but for me, about 30% of my money comes from creating and selling online courses, 30% from linking people to Amazon and getting a commission on what they buy from Amazon, 30% from selling digital products like eBooks, and the rest from advertising. For now, just trust me with this: If you can get people to your site, you can make money. Making money off website traffic is the EASY part. It’s getting the traffic that requires hard work.
The actual methods you use to earn money from your site may vary, but don’t be too concerned with that now. Baby steps (another reference to a favorite movie). For now, just focus all of your attention on the red button below. Click it, and I’ll help you start your business with step 1 of the recipe.