August 23, 2011, 5:00 am

4 Things I Would Do With My Blog If I Could Go Back 4 Years and That You Must Do TODAY to Be a Successful Blogger

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Business,Make Money Online
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The other day, I was going through the Yakezie Forum and a new blogger was asking a very interesting question:


What would you do if you could go back in time and start your blog all over?


If you have been following me since the beginning, it means that you have read a total of 1,275 articles over almost 5 years (the blog started back in November 2006). You have probably noticed a lot of changes on this blog since the beginning. I went through different topics and orientations throughout the years. My most famous post back then was about The Smith Manoeuvre and my highly debated Primerica Reviews. Since then, I have evolved towards a “make more money while working less” approach with “open door articles” such as how I went from 18K to 125K online income per year and my monthly blog income report. But even if I was able to build a 6 figure online business, there are tons of things I would have done differently with my blog if I could start all over:


#1 Start a Mailing List


mailing list

To be honest, I had been reluctant to create newsletters with my blogs. It is my silent partner who finally convinced me to do so after 3 years of operation! While I still don’t master the concept of having a newsletter along with daily posting, I certainly understand and appreciate its power. Here’s a quick example:

When I launched Dividend Investing (my first eBook), I got 47 downloads in 15 minutes only through The Dividend Guy Blog Mailing List. By the end of the day, out of 500 subscribers back then, 432 had opened it and most of them downloaded the eBook.

Since then, I’ve been using the TFB mailing list to communicate with my most loyal readers and ask them what they want to read about in my Rat Race eBook. In order to reward them, I will offer them a 50% pre-sale offer in September to buy the book (so there’s is still time to register in the spot on the right column 😉 ).

A mailing list is a privileged access to your most engaged readers. You can provide them with additional content and they can give you more feedback this way. I get several article ideas from my newsletter readers and I can now see its power. If I had started my newsletter 3 years ago, I would probably have thousands of subscribers! Fortunately, it’s never to late!

#2 Go Light on Advertising


Have you ever noticed that it’s picadilly circuseasy to cut something you don’t really benefit from but it’s darn hard to cut out something you enjoy? Well I enjoy making money and I’m making a lot of it by selling private advertising on my blogs. However, I want to move TFB towards a site where I can communicate with my readers and where we can exchange ideas (such as Smart Passive Income, ManVsDebt or Think Traffic).


If you have ever gone on any of these sites, you have noticed that they don’t have Adsense and that they are very light on advertising that are not directly related to their products or services they use. This is why I am seriously considering cutting down adsense on TFB in order to keep more readership. I guess my loyal visitors don’t mind the advertising but I know that most new visitors can be turned off by so many ad spots. I’m having a problem making the switch since the money is really good. If I had never sold advertising on my site, I would have been able to build a stronger community and make even more money than I am right now! The 3 guys I have mentioned are making tons of money and they generate it through their own products or through affiliate programs. People buy from them because they trust them. And that is where I want to bring TFB.


#3 Connect with people

connect with people

I had started to comment on other blogs and send emails to my fellow bloggers after almost a year of blogging. No wonder my traffic was about 10 visits a day for the first year! Then, I started to connect with people in my niche and comment on their blogs. This has had a huge impact on my blog.


If I have one piece of advice to give you regarding connecting with other bloggers is to do it honestly. Don’t connect with people in the hope that they will retweet your post or that they will offer you a guest post spot on their huge blog. Just email them explaining why you read their material and why you think you have points in common. Share a true friendship and help them to grow by asking questions or contributing with stellar comments on their blogs. This is how you will truly build online friends that will eventually help you out in the future. I’ve learned this from Baker by the way.


The guy needed financing at one point in his project. We had liquidity sitting in our bank account and we were amazed by how this guy was successful and showed a high level of motivation. This is why we have decided to lend him the money with no interest for a few months. This was a door opener to a great friendship. And today, he is helping me grow my business and has coached me for my eBook and TFB redirect.


#4 Buy another Blog

buy a blog

One of my most famous moves as a blogger was to be among the first guys to drop significant cash into a website. My first purchase was Intelligent Speculator, but what put me on the map was buying Gather Little By Little (which I sold back in 2010). When you buy a blog, you not only buy the traffic and the reputation, you are also buying a good part of the blogger’s knowledge.


Each time we purchased a blog, we looked at the special ingredient that lead them to their success story. This is how we have learned so much throughout the years and how we were able to apply many tricks we found on other blogs across our network. For example, a while back ago, we discovered a plugin that allowed us to put adsense code in each post. It seems pretty common today but it was quite a revolution a few years ago. With this simple piece of code, we cranked up our revenue by $1,000 per month! I will keep buying websites once in a while but am currently concentrating on building my own sites at the moment. It is cheaper than paying the big bucks every time we want to build another asset!


Do these 4 things today and become a successful blogger!


If I had to start again, I would start my business with these 4 steps. This will definitely help you to grow and build a true online empire!
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Thanks for providing this useful information. This is one of the reasons that I keep coming back here time and time again. I am doing #3 which I think is helping, but haven’t started a mailing list yet.

Mailing list is KEY. I’m so dumb that I purchased Aweber and didn’t use it until 9 months later. That’s 9 months that I could have been gaining subscribers. I absolutely recommend all new bloggers to spend the money on Aweber. Don’t be cheap.

How did you go about buying another blog?

Would you recommend sticking to the same niche?

Okay you got me on the mailing list. I need to set one up like, yesterday.

Hey TFB 😉

This is a really nice post! I did #2 when I moved from Blogger to WP, but I know I am not totally there yet… stil some work to do!

But #3 is the first thing I did. I did it even before starting my own blog! So when I jumped in, some virtual friends were sincerely interested in what I’ve made. I recently took a long moment off, because I was so much involved in another writting project, but still got readers and commenters… and friends :).

Still have #1 and #4 to do (but I’m not sure I’ll do #4…)

Good tips! I just started my newsletter and can already see its value – plus it is nice to get more personal with my readers. I have the connect with people part down but I haven’t cut back on advertising. I am also looking into buying other blogs, but so far, it was lucrative to simply create my own niche site about life insurance.

I think that connecting with people should be number one! I’ve started blogs before, and I read numerous other personal finance blogs each day, but I’ve always stayed quiet, reading but never commenting. Now I’ve decided to start reaching out — other bloggers are more likely to stop by your blog if you stop by theirs. Always a great idea. And besides, the reason you started a blog in the first place was to connect with people over something you’re interested in and/or knowledgable about!

I haven’t set up a mailing list either. I’m barely keeping my head above water with blogging, full time job, and raising a baby. Once things let up a bit, I would set up a mailing list.

Hi Mike, why did u sell Gather Little?

by: The Financial Blogger | August 28th, 2011 (8:42 am)

Because I have received a very interesting offer 😉 We didn’t want to sell, so it was the perfect timing to do it 😉

Thanks Mike, I’m just catching up on your last month of posts (I’ve been on vacation in Quebec City). Did you use Flippa to buy your blog(s). I’m just curious if that is the site to be on or if there is a new option. Thanks, Nanci